Monday, March 21, 2011

Western Intervention in Libya not about Protecting Civilians



The UN mandate for Libya is to protect Libyan civilians. It does not call for supporting, arming, defending the armed Libyan opposition.

Libya is in civil war. There was an armed insurrection. Peaceful demonstrators are not being targeted by Gaddafi. Gaddafi is fighting the armed insurrection.

Unfortunately, the UK and France, followed by the US and Canada, have used the UN mandate to take side in the civil war. What is their purpose? Are they focused on securing access to Libyan oil?

To put this in context, consider the minority, Conservative MP for Canada's comments:

'Harper reiterated the UN mandate does not call for ground troops and said he believes the international aerial and naval operations will put the squeeze on the longtime Libyan ruler's authority.

"If Mr. Gaddafi loses his capacity to enforce his will through vastly superior armament, that he simply won't be able to sustain grip on the country," Harper said. "He will not last very long."' (From CBC)

Clearly, the western governments behind the intervention have taken sides, using the UN mandate to protect civilians as an excuse to target Gaddafi.  Remember these are same governments that have supported Gaddafi and other autocratic rulers for decades.

Moreover, these governments never asked their people whether or not they should intervene, not to mention take sides. Moreover, the tax payers of these countries are paying for this adventure in Northern Africa.